Welcome Time Wasters!
This week I tackled a particularly fun game titled The Trouble with Robots. What exactly is the trouble with robots though? Well let’s take one Tolkien inspired fantasy realm (minus all the battle), then add in some evil robot alien overlords that wish to force Elves, Men, and Dwarfs (not Centaurs, robots hate Centaurs) to move into their technologically advanced city. Unfortunately though, the people don’t want to move into new homes and instead choose to fight back against their would-be enslavers. This is where the battle starts.
The story takes plenty of jabs at our modern society, pointing out our enslavement to our technology and corporate greed. Also accompanying this is a small love story between a Dwarf and an Elf (which actually caused me to laugh out loud when the Dwarf at first refuses the Elf’s proposal due to her lacking a beard). The story, no matter how simple it was, easily kept me entertained throughout the main campaign.
Now we move onto the meat of the game, the game play. The Trouble with Robots takes a unique turn on its game play. The easiest way to explain it is Plants vs. Zombies meets Magic: The Gathering (as described by the creator himself). Enemies come in waves and must be defeated by the rebel forces. The player doesn’t directly control what their units do though. Instead the player is given three cards from a set of cards or deck, if you will, that is assembled before the battle. Casting these cards will give units certain advantages during battle. Some cards can summon more units into battle while others will rein fire down upon your enemies. Cards aren’t free to use though. Each card cost one energy to cast and there are a few cards with special conditions to be met before being casted. Energy is slowly charged during battle and when out of cards can be used to shock a single enemy, dealing damage and stunning them for a short time.
Let’s talk about the different races in The Trouble with Robots. To fight off the evil alien robot overlords four races will come together. These races are each good at something. Men are weak but can be brought into battle in high numbers. Elves are always archers, having low health and attacking from a distance. Dwarfs are a hardier race that won’t get stunned by attacks that hit the other races. Finally we have the Centaurs, these guys are like a mixture of a Dwarf and an Elf, they can attack from a range but will run into battle when enemies get closer and have a large pool of health. Beating The Trouble with Robots will require a lot of strategy when building a deck as you’ll want to summon some races more than others in certain circumstances.
The graphics and audio in the game are both the same, simple yet appealing. The goofy art style used in the game really fits it and the music, while not overly complex, helps the game hit that nice medium of not taking itself too seriously. This isn’t to say that the game is bad, instead what I mean is that characters in the game are more than happy to poke fun at themselves or the various motifs found in the fantasy genre.
The Trouble with Robots is a great example of what I look for in a great Time Waster. It brings a unique style of game play with it that is both simple yet compelling. This teamed together with its goofy story, satirical outlook on modern society and simply appealing graphics all come together to make a great game.
The Trouble with Robots walks away with 4.5 GiN Gems out of 5!